First, we want to thank Kathy Sullivan, for inviting us to talk about our work, and particularly about the new book that's coming out on July 5, Alliance of Equals.
Just a little bit about the Liaden Universe®. Steve and I began writing together in 1980, and in 1984 completed our first collaborative novel, Agent of Change, coincidentally the first book written in the universe. It was action-adventure space opera, with a touch of romance, and established two on-going characters in the universe -- Miri Robertson, a Terran soldier, and Val Con yos'Phelium, a Liaden scout-turned-unwilling-spy.
The next two books were also action-adventure, continuing the adventures of Miri and Val Con. . .
And the two books after that -- went back a generation, and were what we've taken to calling Space Regencies -- Regency romances in a space opera setting.
As of this writing, there are nineteen novels in the Liaden Universe®, and we're not going to bore you with a description of each. We only want to make the point that we're working in a universe wide enough and deep enough to accommodate romance, action-adventure, YA, paranormal. . .
And! As if it weren't enough fun, being able to write in a multitude of genres within a universe of our own creation -- the universe is one where Life Moves On.
Loosely, the Liaden novels are (with a couple of exceptions) a family saga, following the doings of Clan Korval, and its various members. Which means that not only do we follow the adventures of the adults, but we get to know their kids, as they grow up.
Alliance of Equals is about one of those kids -- teenager Padi yos'Galan, heir to Master Trader Shan yos'Galan (another on-going character, with his lifemate, Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza). As her father's heir, Padi is destined to follow in his footsteps, as Korval's master trader -- a destiny she has embraced with enthusiasm.
Padi, though. . .Padi also has a secret. A secret that might kill her, and everyone she cares about.
Now, you might be thinking right about here that you don't want to commit to reading eighteen books in order to catch up with Padi -- and the good news is that you don't have to.
We realize that eighteen books is a commitment, and we occasionally write a portal book -- a story that can be read by those with no previous knowledge of the Liaden Universe®.
As Alliance of Equals begins, Clan Korval has been knocked down a few pegs or more, thrown off their home world, threatened with annihilation, and generally suffered through Interesting Times.
So, too, has Padi. Her comfortable path to her comfortable, and expected, future has been disrupted; she was a key part of a plan that would have either saved the clan or destroyed it. And the return to normalcy -- well, "normal" isn't what it used to be. Not at all.
On the burgeoning edge of adulthood, Padi is determined not to let these unseemly disturbances put her behind. She throws herself into her studies, cramming, and skipping sleep. Also, there's that problem -- the one that she's not admitting to anyone, not even, really, to herself.
In other words, she's doing the best she can to build her future, while building a wall against her past.
* * *
If you'd like to dabble your toes in the Liaden Universe®, but don't think that Alliance is your cuppa, our publisher, Baen Books, is offering Agent of Change -- the little space opera that started it all -- and Fledgling, the beginning of the Theo Waitley story arc -- as free ebooks from Amazon, and direct from the Baen Free Library. Also free at Baen is a new short story, "Wise Child", set in the Liaden Universe®.
Thanks for listening.